Wednesday, November 28, 2007

En La Misma Onda

Following the motto 'better late than never': a full backstage report on the 2007 Latin Grammys, blogged live from Las Vegas by VivirLatino. Big winners included La Onda sweethearts Juan Luís Guerra (5 awards, including song & album of the year, and a lifetime achievement award) and Calle 13 (3, including the whole 'Urban' category). There were also awards for Aterciopelados and Manu Chao (Best Alternative), Gustavo Cerati (Best Rock Song), Ojos de Brujo (Best Flamenco) and El Gran Combo (Best Salsa). I must say the Latin Grammys are growing into the only music award show that really awards quality instead of popularity!

Spanish pop combo La Oreja de Van Gogh has split up. Singer Amalia Montero decided the time was right for a solo career. Jorge over at Crisol de Musicas has some interesting reflections on the marketing mechanisms behind the band and the separation. My thoughts: now Montero can focus on the sugar-sweet bubble pop she's made for, while the band can pursue their more rock-oriented nature.
But, in a vile twist of fate, pop princess Paulina Rubio (40% plastic, 60% marketing) could become the new singer of the band. Cover your ears! VivirLatino further suggest this is just another move in Pau's transformation from Mexicana to Española.

Menudo was the mother (erm.. father?) of all boysbands, conquering Latin American charts in the early 80's and later launching the career of Ricky Martin. Now some record company bobo decided it's time for a Menudo revival, and five new boys were selected through a reality TV show. *Sigh*. Of course, the result is crap. Have a listen over at Latina Viva.

Besides being the only rapper willing to defend Calle 13's Grammy sweep, rapper Julio Voltio is also releasing a new album (En Lo Claro) and a joined tour with Toby Love and Alexis y Fido (called 'Yo Soy Barrio'). Both his tourmates also released an album this month, respectively Reloaded and Sobrenatural. Off the album, "Ponmela" is a nice collaboration with hot duo Jowell y Randy. As always, Richard Liriano has the songs! (Here, here and here).

Some quickies:
-Mun2 has an article on latin DJ duo Masters at Work, an old love of mine.
-SoundRoots takes a global tour of YouTube music videos, including Manu Chao and Gotan Project.
-Last week's Masala podcast is kicking some serious reggaeton ass.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Rock: Pereza, Los Bunkers, Los Tipitos, Inmigrantes

As I've put y'all nearly two weeks without new tunes, here's a bigger post to make up. All of these artists have been on La Onda before, but seen their latest efforts they're certainly worth mentioning again!

Pereza Aproximaciones Aproximacion Spanish Latin Rock
Their lazy voices fit the band name perfectly: Pereza. The new CD of these Spanish guitar gods, Aproximaciones, again offers us poetic rock ballads with a rough edge. The catchy chorus of title song "Aproximación" is an explosion of distorted guitars, contrasting with the dreamy verses and humming, not unlike their last big hit "Todo" (review here).

Los Bunkers Chili Latin Rock Vida De Perros Mientele
It's always surprising to me how long latino bands can keep releasing singles from the same album. The reasons behind this could be subject of entire papers, so I wont dig into that ;) But the fact is that the latest single of Chilean band Los Bunkers is still off 2005's Vida de Perros. "Mientele" has it all: witty lyrics, a great riff, an impressive solo, hell even the bass play is flawless. But I have to repeat my previous criticism that Alvaro Lopez is technically just not a good singer. Still, the track has everything to rock out!

Los Tipitos Argentina Latin Rock Tan Real Flor Negra
Los Tipitos made it high up my best of 2006 list with "Campanas en la Noche" (review here). The beautiful, melancholic lyrics are still present on "Flor Negra", only the sound has shifted to a more mainstream poprock vibe. Which actually suits them very well, the piano is a great addition and the chorus has a high sing-along factor. The song is doing quite well in the Argentinean charts too.

Inmigrantes Turistas En El Paraiso Graffiti Argentina LatiN Rock
Twin brothers Carlos and Pablo Silberberg are definitely gonna make it. The second single of their duo effort Inmigrantes is as catchy and inventive as the first one: "Graffiti" has that British-influenced guitar sound I love so much, and plenty of youthful enthouisiasm. I wish them a lot more singles of this quality

Be sure to check out the videos of all these great songs below.

Inmigrantes - Graffiti mp3 buy@Amazon
Los Tipitos - Flor Negra mp3 buy@Amazon

Los Bunkers - Mientele mp3 buy@iTunes buy@Amazon
Pereza - Aproximacion mp3

Inmigrantes - Graffiti

Los Tipitos - Flor Negra

Los Bunkers - Mientele

Pereza - Aproximacion

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lost in MySpace

Another look at the latino MySpace-o-sphere. If you haven't checked out our own MySpace spot, go ahead and be our friend - we're close to 200 amigos! :) And hopefully with the arrival of Facebook Pages (aka Facebook Music) we'll soon have musical networking that's a little easier on the eyes.

Our new favorite record label: Nacional Records, which houses not only Manu Chao, Aterciopelados and Mexican Institute of Sound but also lesser known La Onda favorites as Los Bunkers and Los Tres. A special mention goes to Raul Campos, a famous LA deejay who just released an exciting mixtape called Loteria Beats. It's filled with funky instumentals, trip hop & latin rap - check it out.

Another notable netlabel is Tres Peso. It was founded by a New-Zealander who dedicates his time to represent Cuban reggaeton artists who can't leave the island. Without a lot of funding, Tres Peso is compeltely relying on guerilla/internet marketing - and with some success, as they now have 21 artists signed. Have a go at "Otra Onda" by Rezistencia, a tad aggressive but still quality cubatón.

Dub and reggae artist Ticklah did a very special cover of Eddie Palmieri's "Mi Sonsito". The rest of his music is totally non-latin, but this song is funky, catchy and original - it fits perfectly in the new latin funk movement of Los Mono, Los Amigos Invisibles and Mexican Institute of Sound.

Besides a very beautiful MySpace page, Iyexa has some beautiful altpop tunes in Portuguese which can only be described as 'Afro-Brasilian funkjazz with some mestizo reggae thrown in'. Yes, I though of that myself :)

Apparently "Baja Panties" by R&B combo C-Note is quite the club hit. I'm not fully convinced yet, and the fact they have their own reality TV show adds up to that ;) Nevertheless, everybody appreciates some R&B from time to time!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pop/Rock: Jarabe de Palo, La Mari

Jarabe de Palo Adelantando Dejame Vivir La Mari Chambao Spanish Pop Rock Flamenco
It's a busy month, so I can use some peaceful tunes to wind down a little. And Jarabe de Palo is always a great source for delicate popsongs!

Even this summer at the Jarabe de Palo concert I attended, "Dejame Vivir" was one of the most intimate and enchanting songs in the set. The additional vocals of La Mari (of our favorite flamenkito band Chambao) add a more traditional Andalucian touch to Jarabe de Palo's usual poprock sound. It's a no-nonsense track without pretention: simple guitar chords with soft percussion is all it takes to let Pau Donés and La Mari bring their leave-me-be message. Be sure to watch the very suiting and utterly beautiful video below!

Jarabe de Palo ft. La Mari - Dejame Vivir mp3 buy@iTunes buy@Amazon

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Merengue: Elvis Crespo, La Banda Gorda

Elvis Crespo - Llore y Llore - Regreso El Jefe - La Banda Gorda - Dejen Esos Perros - Puerto Rico Dominican Republic Republica Dominicana Merengue Latin Dance Music Mambo
It's been a while since I've served you some truly tropical tunes. Here are two merengues to keep the summer spirit alive when the fall kicks in!

"Lloré y Lloré" is a quite atypical merengue for Elvis Crespo, with the fast singing and the soundplay in the chorus. Though of course you'll recognize his voice and the somewhat sluggish beat. An interesting track, even though it's not being played as much on the radio as it deserves.

The last time I featured La Banda Gorda was back in '05, but little has changed in their music. "Dejen Esos Perros" is badass Dominican mambo, filled with double entendres and sexy rhtyhm fills. Singer José Peña Suaso has that tongue-in-cheek kind of voice that makes merengue so damn sexy - and funny at times. Enjoy!

Elvis Crespo - Lloré y Lloré mp3 buy@iTunes buy@Amazon
La Banda Gorda - Dejen Esos Perros mp3

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